Looking at this "why is it? "question I see it has 1 close vote and a bounty. I think its too vague to be a good question so I thought I'd give it a close vote - but when I attempted to do so, it was refused with the response "this question has an open bounty and cannot be closed".

Firstly, I'm sure questions could be closed even with bounty - this suggests that the bounty would be refunded.

Secondly, its already got a close vote - did this occur before the bounty was placed, in which case - bounties can be used as a way to keep rubbish questions open past the initial time that they usually get closing attention and thus end up staying open.

So, is this a new thing, or should bounties not prevent closure?

  • Bounties have always prevented closure. The assumption here is that if a question survived for a couple of days (bounties can only be set after two days), then there's probably no urgent reason to close it. Refunding a bounty requires moderator intervention. If you strongly feel the question must absolutely be closed right now, then you have to convince one of them crazy diamonds to do it for you. Alternatively, you could wait for the bounty to expire or be awarded.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 10:38
  • 2
    @Yannis I see.. but still, I'm asking should it be this way, or should the community be allowed to close bountied questions? It is a pretty vague and opinion-based question, not the kind we like round these parts so I'd say letting them be closed makes sense, adding the bounty seems like the questioner is gaming the system forcing it to remain open.
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 10:42
  • I wouldn't say they are gaming the system. The system explicitly allows this, and also I don't think many people (especially newer users like the OP) actually know that bounties prevent close votes. What I think we should look into is the "if it isn't closed in two days, no reason to urgently close it" assumption. Which may make perfect sense for a very high traffic site with thousands of close voters like SO, but probably not so much for ProgSE.
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 10:47
  • 1
    @gbjbaanb unfortunately, this creates a poor experience for both the person posting the question and users answering it. Especially if it is later deleted (the bounty for the answer is lost, and the rep isn't refunded to the person offering the bounty). The key failing in this is that the post was reopened before it could be made a good question. It isn't as critical now that closed votes can be recast after a period of time. Though the offering of the bounty on the poorly worded question is likely going to cause a poor user experience for many users.
    – user40980
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:13
  • @MichaelT Certainly the bounty should be refunded in the case of closure - that it doesn't happen automatically is a bug IMHO (and the workaround seems to be simply to deny closures!). A question with a bounty is not much different from one without in terms of user experience though a notification saying "your bounty was refunded" shouldn't be difficult to add if the site allowed closures of bountied-questions. Alternatively, close votes could still be counted but not applied until the bounty expires. There's plenty could be done to improve this situation, I think.
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:19
  • @gbjbaanb refunding the bounty when a post is closed would also mean taking it away from a person who it was awarded to. Furthermore, the bounty is an advertisement for the question itself and the rep for votes on the question isn't retracted when the question is closed (gotten with the added visibility of the bounty). It is indeed a messy situation.
    – user40980
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 16:21
  • bounty on this question is over now
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 20:30
  • Floating up this question again due to the following one. Seems blatantly off-topic to me because it's asking for tools.
    – Laiv
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


From Close votes shouldn't expire on bountied questions on MSE:

Remember: closing is a nomination for deletion. Saying, "Oh, no need to involve a moderator; if close votes don't expire, I'll just sit on my hands until the bounty is done and then close -> delete it" is effectively saying,

"I'm fine with someone putting serious effort into answering this question out of hope for a bounty reward, because I plan to delete the question and their answer, thus erasing both their effort and the reputation involved."

Don't do that. Contact a moderator - if the question must be closed or migrated, they can refund the bounty and do so immediately, removing the question from the Featured list. The longer you wait, the more potential for grief exists for everyone involved.

I will point out that while my close vote on the round 1 was reopened, there appears to be at least a reasonable number of people looking at closing it on round 2 (once the bounty expires).

If the question is not improved (and there doesn't seem to be any attempt by the OP to do so) to one that is answerable, once it is closed, I intend to cast a delete vote on it.

Thus, hey you guys mods: "Before someone puts in some serious effort into answering this question out of hope for a bounty, you should look at letting this question get closed so that it can get fixed to not be vague so that I don't feel the need to delete vote it once the bounty expires and it gets closed again."

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